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Nottingham Institute of Education

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Nottingham Institute of Education

Doctor of Education

The Professional Doctorate in Education involves you in two formal elements of activity: workshops and supervision of your own research projects.

You will attend four, two-day workshops in Nottingham, in each of the first three years of your study. These are co-taught with the Social Practice and Legal Practice Professional Doctorates and address topics that are generically relevant to research at doctorate level. Each workshop or group of workshops is linked to a specific stage in the project.

Each student is assigned a team of supervisors for their individual research project. The team of supervisors will normally be staff from Education although there may be circumstances where cross-subject supervision is appropriate. This team will provide individual support for the completion of each document.

To obtain a doctorate in Education (Ed. D.) students must pass each document within the course (360 credits at D level). The research is concluded with a viva voce examination based on Documents five and six.

To obtain an M.Phil. students must pass all four modules normally presented in the first two years of the course (240 credits at D level).

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • A Masters-level qualification awarded by an approved university in an appropriate subject, or equivalent.
  • An alternative qualification or qualifications and / or evidence judged by us as satisfactory indication of potential to conduct research at higher degree level.

As you're applying for a research degree (MPhil, PhD and Professional Doctorates), you will need to submit a statement about the subject you wish to research. Please see our Doctoral School pages for more information about this.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study.   We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Course modules

Unlike the PhD, which is assessed by a single thesis delivered at the end of the project, the Professional Doctorate structure involves you in shaping your research project around a sequence of documents, the first four of which are submitted and assessed during the first three years of the project.

Your research project

The sequence of documents is:

  • Document One (5,000 words) – a research proposal setting out the research question or questions, the professional context, how the question or questions will be investigated and any ethical issues.
  • Document Two (15, 000 words) – a literature review analysing the professional and academic literature on the subject, together with literature on the methodology of your enquiry.
  • Document Three (15, 000 words) – a research report on a small study that informs your overall research question. This may involve, for example, a pilot study, an investigation of a subsidiary issue that informs the main research question.
  • Document Four (15, 000 words) – a second research report on a small study that informs your overall research question. This should contrast with Document 3 in some way, for example by chosen research method.
  • Document Five (30, 000 words) – is the main thesis which answers your overall research question. It will draw on the previous documents but is likely to contain additional literature analysis and may include additional investigation.
  • Document Six (5, 000 words) – a reflective report on your experiences and development as a researcher.

Students who successfully complete the first four modules and who wish to terminate their studies will normally be eligible for an MPhil award. The final module, comprising a thesis and critical reflections on reflexive changes in knowledge derived from your own study will be examined by viva voce examination.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
EdD Part-time Home/EU 4 8 Years
EdD Part-time £ 12,900 (Academic year) International 4 8 Years

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